Parliament Retrospective – No show for E-Levy
Questions, statements and reporting dominated debates in Parliament this week after the House resumed sitting February 1-4, 2022.
Many expected the Electronic Transfer Tax (E-Levy) Bill 2021 to be on the Order Paper for the first day of deliberations, but that is not the case. This gave rise to disputes over when the bill would be sent back to the House to go through the various stages of consideration.
Although the House Government Affairs Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on Friday, January 28, 2022, when he presented the statement of business for the week in the House, said that the bill E-Levy would be considered on Wednesday, February 2, 2022, which was not on the Order Paper of the day.
Minority leader Mr Haruna Iddrisu, who was unhappy with the development, called on Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu to provide ‘clarity and certainty’ on when the bill would be presented to Parliament for the House to debate the principles of the bill.
In his response to concerns raised by the Minority Leader, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told the House that when he presented the trade statement last Friday for the week, there was no indication that the bill would be taken this week.
Afterwards, he said there had been exchanges between caucus leaders during which it was determined that the bill would be introduced in the House last Friday.
According to the trade statement read last Friday for this week, there should have been a second reading of three major bills, namely the Electronic Transfer Tax Bill, 2021, the Supplementary Appropriations Bill, 2021 and the Student Loans Trust Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
However, while the Order Paper contained a motion on the Supplementary Appropriations Bill, 2021 and the Student Loans Trust Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2021, that of the Electronic Transfer Tax Bill, 2021 was missing.
Some questions were asked by some Members of Parliament (MPs) on the floor of the House on the status of some health facilities some of which are ongoing.
MPs had sought to find out when the projects would be completed, as well as when those being built under Agenda 111 would also start.
The questions were asked by the MPs for Tempane, Builsa South and Salaga South, Ms. Lydia Lamisi Akanvariba, Dr. Clement Apaak and Ms. Zuwera Mohammed Ibrahimah respectively, and the Minister of Health, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, was at the Room to provide answers. on them.
Mrs. Akanvariba wanted to know when the construction of the Tempane District Hospital will start, Dr. Apaak also wanted to know if funding has been secured for the Builsa South District Hospital project under Agenda 111 and when work would start, while Ms. Zuwera wanted to know when the Kafaba health center in her constituency would be completed and made operational, as well as the 60-bed Salaga Euroget hospital project would be completed and when the CHPS complexes in Kulpi, Yayielie and Dagombia would be funded and made operational.
Mr. Agyemang-Manu, in his response to questions, said that everything was on track and those that were in progress would be completed, funded and made operational, while those under Agenda 111 would also start this year.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, also appeared before the House to answer questions regarding his ministry and the measures taken by the government in the land, forestry and mining sectors of the country.
The House during the sitting also approved loan agreements for the construction of the Bunso-Adawso road and specified access roads to the Adawso bridge and a bridge over the Afram River, all in the region of ‘East.
This was after the Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Mr. Kwaku Kwarteng, presented a report of the committee on the road and bridge construction loan agreement to Parliament for adoption and subsequent approval.